What’s a little mud when in a great boondock?

Saturday, February 17

Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, north of Sasabe, Arizona

The wind and the rain brought birds to our campsite.

I’m inside with the crew when I hear a familiar sound.


Hey, that’s a roadrunner!

I find him in the mesquite tree in the turn-around between the Best Little Trailer and the road.   He sees me, flicks his long tail, hops to the ground, and dashes for the tall grass.

Oh well, a photo wouldn’t come out anyway, the way he was backlit by the sun.

That was yesterday.

This morning he’s in the mesquite again.  It’s an excellent perch for soaking up the rays of morning sun.  Again he high-tails it for the tall grass.

I see several Greater Roadrunners while driving to and from Arivaca.  They cross the road on a dead run.  Always a fun surprise!

~ ~ ~

Okay, about allowing the boys to be fully dog . . . 

After three days of rain, Reggie and Roger are pumped up for a good run.  Out the door they go!

Yay!  Fully dog!

As if on cue, a pack of coyotes yip and howl from the wash at the base of our camp’s ridge. Another pack, this one in the field across the road (above photo, taken previously), joins the chorus. Evidently the rain brought coyotes along with the birds.

My heart stops.

Oh, no.

Roger and Reggie go ballistic!

Away they run, barking frantically, across the road and out of sight.

I’m not going to write all that went on.  It was bad enough to experience it once.  I don’t need to relive it.

The short version:  Neither Reggie nor Roger pay any attention to my calls, the air horn, or me disappearing from their sight.  They’re totally engaged in chasing the coyotes.  When they are like that, nothing else exists or matters.

Eventually, at a time of their choosing and by the grace of a merciful God, the coyote-hunters return to camp unharmed.

It comes down to this:

Do I want Reggie and Roger fully dog . . . and fully dead?

The boys are back on the tether until we’re in a safer environment.

~ ~ ~

Sunday, February 18

It’s cold this morning.  I turn on the Wave 3 heater around seven and later the boys wake to a cozy, comfy home.  We wait for the sun to warm the air outside, enough for an enjoyable walk down our road.

It’s great to have blue sky again!

When I clip the crew onto the ends of the tether, they don’t seem at all disappointed.  Reg and Rog live in the moment and in this moment they are happy I’m taking them for a walk!

Border Patrol vehicles pass our campsite regularly.

And a helicopter goes over occasionally.  I see a patrol vehicle driving by a couple times during the day.  During the night the light on the roof of their vehicle scans the grassland, including our campsite.  Sometimes, when a patrol arrives from the direction of the main road and turns around in our campsite, I suspect that they’re checking on me.  If so, I appreciate that.

However, with all the rain, the road is torn up.

“We have to go back.  It’s too muddy.”

Roger follows his habit . . . .

Immediately, upon turning for home, he becomes Super Happy Dog and spurs Reggie to join him in play.

.”Okay, let’s settle down.  You’ll be covered in mud!”

Roger investigates one of the many burrows along the roadside.

I’d love to know what type of animal makes these homes.

The holes are about six inches in diameter. At first I thought a Burrowing Owl, but I haven’t heard any owls at this camp.

Kitfox maybe?  Very large rodents?

Whatever it is, evidently it doesn’t mind road noise!

The next photo is my favorite out of this batch.  

It’s filled with the things I love:  My crew, of course.  The Best Little Trailer and the Perfect Tow Vehicle nestled in a quiet, secluded boondock.  All of it embraced by natural surroundings, an expansive horizon, and glorious blue sky.   What a blessing to have all of this and with no schedule to keep!

Well, there is that pesky 14-day limit.

Monday (tomorrow) is our last day.  If the road is still in bad shape and the wind is strong and gusty, as some predict, I don’t think anyone would argue against us staying an additional day.

The crew tries to lead me past our campsite.

“No, we aren’t going that way.  It’s muddy that way, too.  Come on home. . . .”

It looks like more rain is coming.

These clouds are approaching from the southwest.   I read online predictions for rain beginning tomorrow, Monday, and even on Tuesday, too.  That’s okay.  We need rain.

Today we will enjoy what we have while we have it and tomorrow we will do the same.


NOTE:  Already, as I type this, the blue has turned to grey overcast.  That rain may arrive sooner than tomorrow. The only thing I don’t like about rainy days is I can’t use my griddle! —  Sue


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141 Responses to What’s a little mud when in a great boondock?

  1. Hotel California says:

    I always fear I will open your most recent post and read about what coyotes have done to your crew. We have 2 friends who have lost their dogs to coyotes while they were watching. You are correct. Fully alive is much better than fully dog when it comes to coyotes. Particularly if your dogs will not stop on a dime and return to you as soon as you call. Please be careful.

    • Shawna says:

      I, too, have had my worries over this and know of those who have lost their dogs to coyotes, some in broad daylight. I know for a fact the Chiweenie Brothers would be hell bent for leather until it was too late so they are never off leash. Thank goodness this turned out well.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Great to hear from you, long time follower, Hotel California! I will be careful. Promise.

      • Hotel California says:

        It has been a long time, hasn’t it? Since before you got the BLT. I asked if it would be OK for us to tag along in the passenger seat once you hit the road. Still checking in every day.

  2. Pat McClain says:

    Hello Everyone! It’s a beautiful day here in MIchigan!

  3. Ann M in Virginia says:

    Yay! In the first ten! have a great day, Sue!

  4. Carlene and Corky says:

    Good day from Yuma… Its lovely here… As a teen i didn’t like living here… It wasn’t a choice… So different knowing I can leave now when I want.

    So happy to read the boys made it home safely… I know that terrible feeling when Corky was mia. ..

    Have safe travels…

  5. Dawn in NC 🐈 says:

    Hi Sue! Glad to hear that all’s well that ends well. I would have been scared to death too. I often wonder at the wisdom of not letting my cats live “fully cat”. They are indoor only. At first I didn’t have an opinion about the matter. I was following the rules of an animal adoption group helping me with some stray cats. At the time i did live next to a busy road and there were a lot of feral cats around. I can see how cats would benefit being a able to go outside and exercise and explore. I have friends that do that. I’ve also had friends who had two cats killed by neighbors’ dogs and hit by cars in their own parking lot. I suppose each pet guardians decision needs to be predicted on their own conscience and circumstances and the individual needs of their own pets. I’m glad R&R have such a loving guardian looking after them.

  6. mostlylost says:

    Yay! Internet is working today. (I love this park, but the internet is sooo wonky) My heart stopped when heard about the boys chasing coyotes. We used to live in a neighborhood with coyotes and every spring, the mommy coyotes would let their cubs practice hunting skills on may pets wandering loose 🙁 Glad the boys came home safe!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, mostly lost…. I don’t know where you are, sounds like an RV park? I clicked on your “name” but it didn’t take me to a blog, just some statement about copyright.

      The sun shines a little brighter when the internet is working. Good for you!

  7. Sharon in MO says:

    So glad to hear Reggie and Roger came home safely! That must have been very scary for you.

  8. Stephanie Turner OR says:

    You have a gift with suspenseful storytelling. A real gift. My heart is still beating rapidly. While I enjoy allowing Toby to go dog, I restrict it to mud exploration, dirt, rolling in smelly stuff when he’s dirty already, etc. Our recall skills hit and miss, like yours. Your weather looks nice today. We are having snow, then rain, then snow, you get the picture. Brrrrr….. Hope you can post roadrunner pic soon. They make me smile.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Stephanie…. Thank you for your nice words about my storytelling. It’s my pleasure to give your heart a work-out. Haha!

      Your weather sounds…. um….. COLD.

      Yes, if I can catch a roadrunner with my camera lens, you can be sure I’ll be showing it on this blog and bragging about it.

  9. Joe in TN says:

    Hi Sue,

    I see a lot to love in your picture too! Sorry you have to move on, but us blogorinos will have a new place to look forward to. Stay dry out there.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Joe,

      I enjoyed reading about your snowbird trip into Florida! Very interesting… from pancakes to shark teeth to a rescued pelican and more!

  10. Cinandjules🌵 says:

    You know what is best for the crew! Glad they made it back safely.
    I have no idea what burrows in that hole!
    Scrumptious creation you have there! Can you put the awning out or is it too windy? Or might you have an umbrella for the minute it takes to whip that up?
    Did someone drive on that road when it was a muddy mess? Seems like it will stay that way…dried hard and now rutty!
    Have a great evening.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      Cranking out the awning in a cold rain isn’t on my list of Fun Things To Do, although I admit I didn’t think of it. And, yes, it was windy, too. The griddle can’t perform at its best in wind, although I have used it on a windy day by placing the back of one of my camp chairs so as to block the wind. Also, when it’s cold, it takes more propane to heat it up.

      BTW I’m one of those cooks who knows two settings: 1) High Heat and 2) Off. 🙂 I guess that’s why I like my griddle so much. It does well on high heat.

      The ruts in the road were made mostly by the Border Patrol. When it rains, they still patrol. You have a great evening, too!

  11. Rob, still down by Yuma says:

    When there are no coyote noises for awhile it’s about as safe as it’s going to get. A beach works well too, if it’s not crowded. There are not a lot of those beaches in Arizona 🙂 Other than dog parks it’s leash time.

    That one tortilla on the grill reminded me of a pizza! Which is always a fun thing to do with a tortilla.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rob,

      Oh yeah, that red beach in northeastern Wyoming — What a grand time was had by the crew!

      Cold weather moving in… You’re probably in the best spot in Arizona when that happens.

  12. Geri in the FL panhandle! says:

    We keep Radar and Tater on a leash also! Park rules. But when we were boondocking Radar & DoogieBowser were good about staying close to us! No that Doogie has passed on, Radar wants to explore when he gets the chance. He seldom gets loose and we are lucky to have neighbors who love his visits! Thank goodness we have never seen a coyote in our park but we know they have a healthy population out in the Apalachicola National Forest! We do have a bear or two who wander through at night to go fishing in the bay. I know how you feel Sue, I would love it if our boys could be totally dog. But they are both rescues and having two adults to feed then and spoil them is enough to keep them satisfied! I am glad the zoom zoom brothers came back safe and sound.
    Guess with the on coming rain, you will be camped there a bit longer. Sure don’t want to get stuck in the mud!
    Give the boys some extra belly rubs tonight! Stay dry!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hugs and belly rubs to you, Chuck, Radar and Tater, distributed among yourselves however you wish. 🙂

  13. Geri in the FL panhandle! says:

    I wonder if those burrows in the ground could be homes of the gopher turtle. Ithink that is the name somebody told me years ago when Iwas asking about the odd burrows!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Interesting guess. Hmm… I’ve been told the desert tortoise makes a burrow that is curved at the top and flat on the bottom (the shape of half a pizza). I imagine that would be the shape of any turtle/tortoise’s burrow. These are round.

  14. Wow Sue, my heart jumped into my throat at the mention of the coyote packs. I’m so glad R&R came back safely. I imagine you were in tears while they were gone, I would have been. It would be terrifying! I think the coyotes have pups now so they are probably out doing more hunting to feed them.

    I have been letting Misty go outside without being on a rope. She hates any type of restraint and refuses to tolerate being on a leash or rope. She is very skittish and gets scared pretty easily. Her natural instinct is to run and jump back inside the trailer. I follow her around staying close until she is ready to go back in, which usually isn’t long. I know there is risk involved still. I haven’t heard any coyotes howling here but I did see one lone coyote in the area.

    I haven’t seen any border patrol on the road where I am. I hope that means there isn’t smuggling activity in this immediate area. It’s very hilly here so the terrain may be the reason. This being my first time near the border and I will admit I was a little nervous. But I feel pretty safe here though and I have good cell signal which helps.

    The roadrunners- wow! I have yet to see one and want to so bad 😀. One day I will.

    Your favorite photo is also mine, for the reasons you list. It is the story of your life.
    Blessings to you and all the blogorinos.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You haven’t seen any roadrunners yet? I think I saw four on the last trip to Arivaca. Keep looking — They’re around.

      I understand the struggle one has between letting one’s beloved dog run free and keeping him/her safe.

      Yeah, the internet and cell signal is great here. I have 4G/4 bars. Love it.

      • When I see one I’ll be that much more excited after waiting. I am reading in my Sibley field guide and it says, “Greater Roadrunner is one of the only animals known to attack rattlesnakes. Pairs sometimes hunt rattlesnakes cooperatively – one bird distracts the snake while the other sneaks up and pins its head. They then kill the snake by bashing its head against a rock.” Wow, that’s pretty violent!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I agree. Wow.

          Now I like roadrunners even more than before. You can read about them at the All About Birds site I linked, too.

  15. Chris B and Diego says:

    Yum! That tortilla melt looks really good. Whatcha got in there? I’m hungry!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Chris and Diego,

      I was hoping someone would ask: Okay, here’s what’s in that mess….. chopped smoked chicken sausage (Aidell’s bacon and pineapple sausage bought at the Arivaca Mercantile), griddled onions, a small can of chile peppers, one chopped tomato, shredded iceberg lettuce, “Hatch Valley Chunky Salsa”… topped with shredded Jack and Cheddar cheese… all on a big flour tortilla.

      I was smart. I made a double batch. Too cold and windy to use the griddle for making lunch today, so I took those leftovers and made two burritos, heated on the stove. I am living GOOOOOOD!

      I hope you are, too! 🙂

  16. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue!

    I am happy to say that I am finally feeling better! Thank you for the well wishes from you and all of the blogorino family. The anti-nausea med helped; I was also on Tamilflu too, not sure if that really made a difference, but I am thankful that this past week is behind me. My best friend made a grocery run for me last Monday, stocking up on more ginger ale, bananas, and bread for toast. I think it will be quite a while before I have a taste for toast or ginger ale! Gracie pup did not understand why she could not lie on my lap or why I did not feel up to playing. Other than letting her out the back door on a 30’ft training lead to do her business, I kept her baby-gated in the kitchen, out of harm’s way. Little Miss was not at all happy about this, but she (we) survived! 🙂

    I am so sorry for your coyote scare. I am so glad that the boys eventually did come back to camp. They, too, will be ok on the tether, happy to walk in the mud puddles! 🙂

    Your grill creation looks yummy! I can understand why you will go through withdrawals, not being able to cook outside during the rain! Enjoy the sounds of the rain on the top of the BLT, curl up with a good book, snuggle with the boys, and let the rain song lull you into a nice, restful nap. 🙂

    Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, Sue! Sending you, Reggie, and Roger love and hugs from me and Gracie pup! 🙂

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      I love the picture that is your favorite, too. All of the things you love…..what can get any better than that?! 🙂

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Just placed an Amazon order….look for an indoor TV antenna (trying to cut the cable cord!) and a sewing book. xo

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        I’ll go check my Amazon orders list. Be back soon…

        LATER>>>> I see those items! Thanks a bunch, Denise! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I can’t tell you how happy I am to see you here and reporting that you’re feeling better! I was concerned and we missed you.

      Poor Gracie pup…. She must be happy, too, to have her “old” mom back.

      Enjoy your Sunday, too. 🙂

      • .Denise - Richmond VA says:

        Yes! Finally! I will be back at work tomorrow. Still a bit tired from the whole mess, but that will get better with time. 🙂

        • Barbara (Nashville) says:

          Hi Denise, So glad you are feeling better. I know Gracie is glad you are getting better.

          • Denise - Richmond VA says:

            Thank you, Barbara! Gracie is making up for lost time….we played throw Miss Owl (her favorite stuffed toy) for 15 minutes straight tonight. Then she made sure she got extra snuggle time on my lap. 🙂

      • Denise - Richmond VA says:

        Thank you for your concern…I was worried, too.

  17. Susan in south central WA says:

    That lunch (breakfast? dinner?) on the griddle? Ohhhhhh mmmmyyyyyy. Now I am hungry!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Susan,

      That’s what Blogorino Ed calls “linner” on his blog…. the main meal of the day in between lunch and dinner.

  18. Renee still in Idaho says:

    Glad to hear that all turned out well and that when you pull out, the road will be passable. That grill creation looks wonderful and that favorite photo of yours, well it’s got all the elements of a good composition and colors too!

  19. Lauri from SoCal says:

    Hi there Sue & Crew!
    I LOVE the rain also! Although, I have one dog that is a Westie-Poo and he’s got that type of fur that actually GROWS out!….. not only do I have to keep trimming him (unlike my other two – a Chi-Terrier X & a 3.5 lb Pom-Chi!) but he also gets terribly filthy just LOOKING at dirt! He requires CONSTANT attention!! He also is the only HE And has the most energy, being the youngest of the pack!

    Now, onto your post…… what type of tethers do you use? When I was out at Quartzsite, I used retractable leashes (typically my favorite go-to leash). But they got soooo tangled up!! The Pom-Chi is always off-leash as she’s 11 years old and is a JOY at listening to me! So, it’s just the two “bigger” ones that tangle! Every time I read your posts about the boys playing on the blue blanket, I wonder what the tethers look like afterwards.

    Jumping back a few posts about the bark collar… (Just a note, I fully support several types of bark collars as long as they are used as intended and some types even require being trained on how to use! I know you’re more than accountable for doing things the proper way!! just as an note to readers what I’m taking about is there are two types of mechanisms the self-activated response (When the dog barks, the vibration activates the collar and it either buzzes, tingles, or some may spray something non-offensive scent such as citronella. The other type of mechanism is remote controlled by the handler. This is also used in training, challenging dogs in particular! THESE are the ones that need handler training as they are easily abused simply by negligence.)

    I digress, my question for you, how well did the sensor sit on his larynx-area? Years ago I tried some of those collars on my Chi-Terrier X and the sensor always rotated off the larynx and never properly sensed the vibration….. how has yours performed?

    Also, what is the platform you use for your blog? I can’t see any notation of it….

    Thank you for another awesome episode in the life of…..

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lauri,

      To answer your questions:

      The tether I use is available in most Ace Hardware stores, farm supply stores, and Wal-Mart, as well as other places. It’s vinyl covered wire, a 30ft length with a clasp at each end. These tethers come in different lengths and strengths and are different colors according to same. For instance, for smaller dogs the tether is red, for bigger dogs green, and for Just-Right dogs, blue. (hee-hee, couldn’t resist)..

      I have different methods of tethering Reg and Rog. Sometimes I hook one end of the tether to the handle next to the door, the other end onto Roger’s harness. Reggie has a red leash (lead) connected to his harness and before hooking the tether to the handle, I slip it through the loop of his leash so that it slides on the tether.

      Other times I hook one end of the tether to Roger, the other end to Reggie, and the middle is held to the handle by the door with one of the red leashes.

      Tethers work great when they’re new. After a while they aren’t as flexible and get “crooks” in them that cause tangles. I have to replace the crew’s tether frequently.

      I tried retractable leashes and stopped after a few minutes. PITA.

      About the anti-bark collar, I have the vibration-sensor type. I haven’t used it yet, haven’t even put it on Roger, so I don’t know about the fit. I promise to report on the collar as soon as I have something to report.

      My blog is a WordPress blog with Hostgator.

  20. chas anderson says:

    The holes are from some type of ground squirrel but are often enlarged and used by others.Kit foxes almost always dig a bigger den under the roots of a creosote bush.

    How do I know?

    I just attended a ranger program at Organ Pipe which covered all of the above.

    There are 5 Casitas in the campground here at Organ Pipe.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Wow, chas! Aren’t you full of great knowledge! Thank you for that information.

      I’ve seen those dens under creosote. Hmm… now I know they’re probably kitfoxes.

      Sounds like you’re having a great time at Organ Pipe. Yeah, those Casitas show up everywhere. 🙂

  21. Calvin Rittenhouse says:

    I can certainly understand why that’s your favorite picture. The header picture gives it some competition, though.

    You don’t have groundhogs that far west, so I don’t know what creature occupies that burrow. I’m interested in others’ guesses.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Calvin,

      Thank you for your words about my photos.

      As for the burrows, chas’ comment above yours mentions the possibility of them being the homes of ground squirrels. The opening seems a bit large for ground squirrels but that’s what he heard from the ranger program.

  22. Janie in Oregon for now says:

    Wow! I’m glad your story had a happy ending and that Roger and Reggie are safe. Hopefully all the rain you are having will be good for wild flowers.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Janie,

      The rain will be good for everything, plant and animal. I detect a slight greening of the grass in the distance. I don’t think it’s actually the grass. Probably the rabbit brush that grows among the grasses. I saw little sprouts of plants in the mud and the few leaves on the mesquite trees are greener. We will be long gone by the time flowers appear here.

  23. weather says:

    Just a quick note for now. Winds there tomorrow 25-35 mph,and Monday is a holiday, don’t know if that affects your choice of day to move.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Both affects my choice of day to move. Thanks, weather, for checking on the winds. They’ve started already, not that strong yet. Whenever I can avoid driving at the start or end of a long weekend, I do that, too.

  24. Rover Ronda (WA) says:

    I’m sorry I asked to trade weather again. I sure don’t want you stuck! Rain or shine doesn’t make an important difference for me. We didn’t trade anyway, other than those 2-3 days of sunshine we’ve had rain and snow. I hope you’re safe to move soon. Tho I think you’re right, they won’t enforce the 14 days rule.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Common sense says stay put. It’s not only driving in bad weather, it’s packing up in bad weather. I’m not taking up the stakes from the blue mat in the rain, cold and wind and then trying to fold it up, all muddy on the bottom? If someone tells me I have to leave, I’m going to ask that they help me break camp. Ha! “Here, hold this end of the mat (downwind).”

      • Rover Ronda (WA) says:

        😂 good plan

      • JazzLover says:

        Sue, you are too funny. Don’t see any one checking campers under those weather conditions tho, do they? Another chuckle, Thanks!

        • weather says:

          Hi, JazzLover, I did see your question a few posts ago, will answer here hoping you see this. The peach chamomile tea blend is called Country Peach Passion, Celestial seasoning is the brand name.

          • JazzLover says:

            Hello weather. Thank you for your reply. Hoped you might see my question. Going to see if our local food store has the Country Peach Passion, it sounds like a good combination. Take Care more roller coaster weather for the end of the week coming.

  25. Nivrapa in AZ says:

    Howdy Everybody!

    Sue, your pictures do such a good job at portraying the beauty of the refuge. I have not visited there in a number of years but I think that will be changing. For some reason, I always end up at Las Cienegas National Conservation Area just north of Sonoita (Empire Ranch). Both are really neat federally protected areas to boondock in and offer plenty of scenery, solitude and wild life. Such peaceful settings.

    I totally identify with your desires and anxiety in allowing dogs to be dogs. Having only owned huskies, I could never safely let them off leash. Their wander lust gene must be dominant in the breed. They were each well behaved for the most part, great side kicks and companions, but when their desire to run off surfaced I was helpless at controlling them. I’m so glad your crew returned safely. I was holding my breath as I read your story and didn’t even realized it until you told us they returned to camp safely. Then I let out a sigh of relief. Did you age another ten years during all of their shenanigans? I would have.

    Weather forecast for next several days is not looking good for travel. NWS put out a winter and wind advisory for tomorrow with winds at 25mph and gusting to 45mph. Rain onset tonight and and continuing into Tuesday until noon. Not as much as last week–more like off and on showers. Much colder too, with snow down to 6k feet. I know that you will use good judgment in deciding when to leave.

    I’m anxious to see where you end up next. Meanwhile, you and the crew stay safe and warm and thanks for taking us blogorinos along for the ride.—Audrey

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Audrey,

      Thank you for the compliment on my photos. Las Ciegnas NCA is another great place to camp, if one likes to get away into nature. I prefer Buenos Aires NWR, not because it’s more beautiful — they’re both lovely in their own way. It’s the convenience of Arivaca, particularly the grocery store. Sonoita has a convenience store, which is good for that type of store, but not for stocking one’s fridge and cupboard. If one wants to camp any length of time at Las Ciegnas, it’s wise to arrive well stocked.

      I appreciate you sharing the advisory. Sounds like this road is only going to get worse. We could make it through the mud probably, but I don’t want to make a mess of the PTV and BLT. And then there’s the wind…..

      It’s so cozy in our home, I have no motivation to leave! It’s not like we’re taking up a space someone else is waiting for.

  26. Linda not in NC says:

    Hi Sue and gang! I have been waiting for a photo of one of your scrumptious creations. Jeez, that looks delicious! Now I have to go buy some tortillas. I prefer the flour ones too.

    I have been trying to capture a good pic of a Roadrunner for a while. Like someone else mentioned, they make me smile. They are hard to catch! They always seem to have some important business somewhere. Whoops, gotta run!

    I am glad that the boys are safe. That is so scary! You are a good dog mom!

    I am currently in on Canyon Lake near New Braunfels, TX. I will be here a while getting repairs done. My feet are itching already, but need to get things done.
    Be safe and hugs all around!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Linda,

      It’s dark and the wind stopped. I’m sitting here thinking about going outside and rustling up something on the griddle, maybe a bean burrito or a cheesy quesadilla. Darn conscience: “Stop! Eat an orange! You’ve done enough glomming for one day!”

      I want to snortle around in the fridge, grab a tortilla, olive oil, some salsa, cheese, and hit that griddle!!!

      Best wishes for your repairs….

      • Linda not in NC says:

        I say snortle away!!:)) Who knows when the wind might pick up again? Or flood? You have to grab those opportunities!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          No, no, no, no…. I’m going to be strong. I will cut up that orange that’s been hanging around here for days and I’ll be happy and satisfied with that. Yes, I will. No snortling (There’s always tomorrow!).

  27. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    Wow the coyotes are scary. Glad the boys got home safe & sound.
    Have a couple of questions for you regarding your solar setup. The panels are on the roof of the PTV with the batteries inside. I know the two get connected so how does the contact come inside the PTV? Hole in the roof, a window? You also have a cord from those batteries to the BLT. Where does it come out of the PTV and does it connect to your house battery of the inverter? How do the solar batteries connect to the PTV battery? Thanks for you time.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barbara,

      A wire goes from the panel through the roof to the batteries.

      Below the rear bumper of the PTV there is an Anderson connector (a place to plug in). The BLT has a cord that has a connector at its end. I plug the two connectors together and charge goes from the batteries in the PTV to the house battery.

      I also have a special extension cord with Anderson connectors on both ends. This allows me to position the PTV any way I want, such as shown in the photo in the present header. (An Anderson connector is designed to pull apart easily without damage if one should forget to unplug and drive away.)

      I use an inverter (400w) that I plug into the 12 volt socket inside the BLT. My laptop and jetpack and anything else I want to charge is plugged into the inverter.

  28. Anne in GA says:

    OK, I just have to show off my knowledge here – speaking of birds and the like…

    Dead Penguins – I never knew this!

    Did you ever wonder why there are no dead penguins on the ice in Antarctica? Where do they all go?

    Wonder no more! It is a known fact that the penguin is a very ritualistic bird and lives an extremely ordered and complex life. Penguins are extremely committed to their family and will mate for life, as well as maintain a form of compassionate contact with their offspring throughout the remainder of their life.

    If a penguin is found dead on the ice surface, other members of the family and their social circle have been known to dig holes in the ice, using only their vestigial wings and beaks, until the hole is deep enough for the dead bird to be rolled into, and buried.

    After packing the ice back into the hole, the male penguins then gather in a circle around the fresh grave and sing –
    Freese a jollly good fellow !!
    Freese a jolly good fellow !!

    You really didn’t believe I knew anything about penguins, did you??
    I’m sorry, an urge just came over me and I couldn’t help my self.
    Please don’t whine – I fell for it too.
    I have an evil cousin who sends me things like this for the pure deviltry of it.
    Did love the post though, except for the adrenalin-pumping moments of coyote terror.
    Thanks for that. I thought I might have to double my Blood Pressure med.
    Gorgeous photos as always.
    Especially that last one – good googly moogly!!!
    that looks scrumptious.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Anne!!! You little devil!!!

      Yes, I fell for it. I’m reading and thinking, this is so cool, how great that Anne is enriching my blog with this interesting information……Oh, bah! You got me!

      It was awfully cute imagining the penguin funeral. I was right there! I kinda’ wish it were true. I mean, they’re all dressed up in their black suits anyway…. Haha!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hey, wait a minute. Where DO they all go?

      • Anne in GA says:

        OK, i’ll tell you where they go IF you’ll let me have half of that
        tortilla thingy on the griddle in the pic.
        I will just slice some fresh avoc. on top and there ya go!
        Instant heartburn at bedtime.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I love ya’ Anne but KEEP YOUR HANDS AWAY FROM MY GRIDDLE!!

          • Anne in GA says:

            Well, so much for curiosity about the penguins then!!
            i was just sitting here giggling about your apt descriptive “mexican landfill on a platter” and thnking ” but this close to bedtime, landmine would be a better term”.
            anyway, it was fun hanging out in your family room again for a bit with everyone.
            nite all

  29. Kathy (NC) says:

    “Today we will enjoy what we have while we have it and tomorrow we will do the same.” – I must remember this every day – thank you!!

  30. Ramona says:

    Hi Sue and Crew,
    The off lead recall takes time and hard work, but it can save your dogs life. This is one command I insist on training and proofing regularly. There are dangers to dogs in cities, suburbia, and in the wildness. I think there is quite a few old abandoned mine shafts in that area, and of course you can’t really train for that! Just the other day I was playing chuck it with my dog at a local dog park that is unfenced, with just an access road to get into the park with a very low speed limit. Don’t you know I whipped the ball, it landed on a rock or something, which made it zing off in a completely different direction than intended. Right into the road, and of course the dog turned on a dime to go after it. I called her back to me before she got to the road, not positive she would respond because she was after a BALL! But she did, with a bit of disappointment, looking back morosely at the ball she had to leave behind. The ball is one of her favorite things, so I use the ball as a reward and as a proofing agent. It’s worth the hard work on your part and on the dogs, because is can save your dogs life and save you tremendous grief. Might look into it, you are in the perfect surroundings to teach your dogs this. It 100% infallible? Probably not, but I’d like to increase my odds of saving my dog from a potentially deadly situation. Just saying. 😊

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ramona,

      I appreciate your intent — Yes, training a dog to come when called adds an important layer of safety. I know my limitations. Training Reggie and Roger to listen and respond in these wild situations is beyond my capability. The only thing it would accomplish is give me a false sense of control over their behavior. Maybe you could accomplish it while boondocking out here, but not me.

      You don’t say what breed your dog is. She sounds like a great companion.

      • Ramona says:

        I think you underestimate yourself!😉 My dog is a shelter dog of unknown origin. I got her from a no kill shelter in my home town. They had rescued her from a kill shelter that had no room for her back in 2015. If you have Instagram, you can see her in action @vantasticviews. She’s a handful, full of all kinds of mischief. Best guess is that she is a red heeler mix. She’s a smaller dog, but has a huge personality. One night when we were camping, she absolutely refused to go out before bedtime, which was totally out of character. I woke up at 230am to hear coyotes yipping right outside my door. I think my dog is smarter than I am.🐶

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          No, I don’t underestimate myself. Imagine training TWO of your dogs simultaneously in an environment with no boundaries and no control over distractions and dangers. I’m not saying it couldn’t be done. I could train Roger by himself and I could train Reggie by himself. Together they behave in ways they wouldn’t if they were alone and I’m not going to separate them.

          Thanks for the optimism and encouragement anyway. It’s obvious you are a great “mom” and she is a great dog. Best wishes to you both!

  31. Nancy1340 says:

    For the next 4-6 weeks the yots will be giving birth and hungry. Just a thought.

    Also giving birth are rabbits and other small tasty critters. Those holes are getting ready to house a bunch of those small tasty critters. That means that rattler’s and other bitey things will be crawling down in those holes for dinner. When the come out they will not be happy to find a small yappy dog in their way. Another thought.

  32. Bill Mcgrath says:

    February in Tombstone area was the dreariest coldest place I ever saw for what was supposed to be a neat historic site to visit. But Bisbee was a terrific town. I bought the best hat at the Optima Hat Store in downtown area. Tom Selleck bought a hat there too! Weather in Arizona sure does blow hot and cold this month.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Bill,

      Great to hear from you! I can relate to your satisfaction in finding the “best hat.” 🙂 Yes, southeastern Arizona has fickle weather this time of year. Looking out my back window as I type this, it’s hard to believe how blue the sky was yesterday and how much warmer the air.

  33. weather says:

    Gosh, what a frightening experience you had until the boys came home! As you well know, there’s a right time and place for them to run free or to be tethered. On February 14th you wrote “Wildlife is scarce in this part of the refuge.”, that’s no longer the case. They are still being fully dog now, after all, a mother dog will carry or corral her young ones to keep them where she can protect and care for them.

    Thanks for inserting the roadrunner and burrowing owl links. That stuff fascinates me. What a terrific photo your favorite one in this batch is, you are indeed blessed. How nice for the rain, wind and muddy roads to have arrived- giving a valid reason for you to remain there until everything is more dry.

    Your 1) High Heat and 2) Off made me chuckle 🙂 , laughing with you, not at you. It’s a good thing I like most food crisp or well done, because if I cook it will turn out that way.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Another impatient cook, eh? 🙂 Good morning, weather! Always a pleasure to spend this time with you .. . .

      Another indoor day here. It’s dark, cold, windy, and damp. At my table by the big, back window I have a “ringside” seat for watching the dramatics of the stormy sky. It would be foolish to travel on a day like this.

      Reggie and Roger accomplished their potty run in record time. This weather has them both content to be inside which provides a gentle transition from those few days of running off-leash to the time when they can go outside for walks on-leash.

      I’m pleased you enjoyed the bird links. The wonders one finds in nature! Roadrunner and burrowing owl — Those two couldn’t be any more different and both are fascinating creatures indeed.


      • weather says:

        Speaking of the wonders one finds in nature, do you remember when you heard what you thought may have been an owl one evening in the tree beside your camp near Del? You mentioned it in the “A fresh start at a new camp at Midland LTVA” post. I was so glad you hadn’t gone out at night to try to see it. I was really hoping it wouldn’t be disturbed by knowing it was being watched. I have seen an owl in a very tall tree after hearing it’s voice. It wasn’t close enough to be upset by my glancing at it, though.

        We’ve both had opportunities to interact with a lot of birds, and they often initiate and enjoy that contact with us. But most owls are used to being hidden by nighttime’s darkness, and I think feel safer when people aren’t near them. There’s a forty seconds long video on the web titled “barred owl flight in Virginia”. I watched it noticing the owl’s reaction to being seen, it didn’t want to be near the photographer.

        Is the wind there helping to dry the mud on your blue mats yet? It began raining here after lunchtime, and will often for a few days to come. It will be in the sixties for at least a couple days this week, too. March will likely bring more wintry conditions back. Happy me, this will thin the lake’s ice covering so we’ll see waves on the water again in a few weeks, and I still have a few more lovely snowfalls to look forward to 🙂

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Good reminder about owls, weather. That’s another difference between owls and roadrunners. Although I doubt roadrunners want to be approached by humans, I’ve witnessed their curiosity at a couple of our camps. About nature videos…. With all that’s available on the web, videos and photos of good quality, we can see animal behavior without closing in on an animal in real life. And may videographers and photographers use a long lens and not disturb wildlife either. 🙂

          It’s windy and cold. I haven’t checked the underside of the mat yet as it is staked down. I may turn it over and stake it upside down if the wind lets up to a point where I can manage that.

          It will be nice to see those waves again… 🙂

  34. Toni CT-NH says:


    I wonder if these are effective.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Toni,

      I have never seen anything like this! Here’s what it says at that site:

      “Do you walk your dog in areas where there are coyotes or hawks? Are you worried about taking your small dog to the dog park or the beach, where there are so many incidents of larger dogs injuring or killing smaller dogs? Do you own a larger dog that won’t stop picking on your smaller dog? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then your small dog needs CoyoteVest™ body armor.”

      And I add, “Do you want your dog to look like a total idiot?” Haha!

      Okay, seriously…. Thanks for the link, Toni. I’ll take another look at it. 🙂

      • Cinandjules 🌵 says:

        Oh my! Not only spikes but antenna like tassels…

        I’ll speak for the crew…no thanks we will be EXTRA careful..better yet..we will come back immediately when you call us…promise. Reg and Rog

      • Toni CT-NH says:

        I was half joking about the vest. I think somebody shared it on facebook. Lots of people are having fears about the coyotes. I suppose some people buy them though!

        Carry on!!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I appreciate you telling us about it, Toni. I can’t imagine putting it on one of my crew. The way they attack each other, play fighting.. . what a disaster that would be.

  35. Jean in Southaven, MS says:

    I was holding my breath when you were describing the pups running after coyotes. I am so glad that you have decided to put them back on their tether. I always believe that it is better safe than sorry. I have three cats that I never let outside. In the past I have lost cats to dogs and cars and I am just too old to worry about those kinds of things when I can prevent them. Sometimes, I just have to be selfish and take care of my worries first.

    I am so glad that the desert is getting rain. I could see a hint of greet on the tree in one of the pictures. That is a good sign. The rain means survival for a lot of those animals that are being born now.
    Last but not least, your tostada looks wonderful. I could almost smell and taste it. I miss the food that is available in Arizona. All though, Memphis is beginning to see some of those things in the Latino grocery stores that are beginning to pop up now. Don’t you just love food that has a lot of taste? Thank you for sharing. Glad the Border Patrol is checking on you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Jean,

      I understand wanting to avoid the dangers for your cats and the worries for yourself. It is very stressful when our loved ones are at risk. You love your cats very much and want them safe. They are fortunate to have a secure home with you.

      I agree about “a lot of taste” in foods, even though I was brought up on plain meals of meat and vegetables, few spices other than salt and pepper. My mother was an excellent cook. She could make delicious meals with very humble ingredients and few choices. Lots of comfort food …. Her beef stew was out of this world!

      Thank you, Jean, for the caring that comes through your comments to me. I enjoy hearing from you and wish you a wonderful Presidents’ Day. 🙂

  36. Terri in Tx. says:

    Glad you changed your mind about not leashing the pups! They are safer when controlled!
    I think a “yot” was a misspelled coyote. Roadrunners are so neat. Love em. Did not know they made that sound.
    Be careful in the rain and the mud. Looking forward to seeing where you land next!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Terri,

      The sound a roadrunner makes is very different than what one would expect. Before I learned it, I thought it was an owl. The roadrunner’s w00-hoo-hoo-hoo differs in that it goes from high to low and decreases in volume, also.

  37. Pat(KY) says:

    Greetings all,
    We are at City of Rocks state park in NM. The sun is peeking through every once in a while so I can charge everything. The wind has come up and as others have mentioned the temps are going to drop. Lows in the low 20′ s for the next few days will have us on the road moving a little faster west than planned.

    Sue, did you see Bob Wells latest YouTube video he put out today? He gave you star billing as a blog to follow for how to boondock.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      No, I didn’t see the video, Pat. It would be helpful if you could indicate where on his website it is located.

    • weather says:

      Hi, Pat, thanks for mentioning his video, how cool is that?! Sue, if you need to save some data, type- CheapRVLiving, Snowbird schedule part 2 How to find campsites- into a web search. Slide the cursor on that video to 13 minutes, to hear him talking about how highly he recommends your blog.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Thanks, weather. I’ll do that.

      • weather says:

        oops, you need to type cheaprvliving youtube -then rest of what I typed above

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Got it! It worked as you originally suggested.

          • Calvin Rittenhouse says:

            Ironically, I first came here when Bob mentioned you on his blog. Now he’s on youtube and doesn’t blog anymore, so I’ve mostly lost track of him.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Hi, Calvin,

              Bob’s still “out there” in cyberspace…. cheaprvtravel.com. I imagine it would be difficult to blog and make youtube videos also.

              It’s tempting to make videos of the crew for the enjoyment of my dog-lovin’ readers, yet I know if I turned my focus toward that the blog would suffer and my life with the crew would change.

            • Calvin Rittenhouse says:

              I’ve actually watched some of Bob’s youtube videos, but it’s the nature of my learning disorder that I do much better with text and pictures than video. I’m content following you and other bloggers.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              I’m glad you’re content with what this blog offers. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pat,

      I watched Bob’s video a few minutes ago. How nice of him to single out my blog for praise! Thank you for letting me know. I emailed a thank you note to Bob.

      Low 20s at City of Rocks? That’s a challenge for any RV heater. I hope you find milder weather somewhere. Lows in the 30s expected here at the refuge. I even saw a forecast of a low in the high 20s. We can do this! 🙂

      Safe travels….

  38. Enjoying reading your archives, I too visited your blog (and book marked it) after seeing Bob’s glowing review of your blog. Added plus is your great little dogs, I have JRTs and love little terriers.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Welcome to my blog, Elaine! And thank you for reading my old posts. I have a special place in my heart for terriers (and for those who love them). 🙂

  39. Steve in Vegas says:

    The griddle mentioned at the end of the post my be the one I recieved this morning. It’s cold and windy here so the seasoning will have wait for better conditions. I watched some Youtube videos of people using it and one old cooter, about my age, found a perfect tool for it was a six inch paint scrapper/putty knife he got in the paint dept. of Lowes or H.D.
    I am looking forward to trying some Asian teppanyaki, kind of like stir fry with it. We enjoy the chicken or shrimp with fried noodles.
    Thanks for the heads up on this appliance.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Steve, and thank you for purchasing the griddle through my blog. I was wondering who placed that order. Sounds like you know how to make good use of it. After you’ve cooked on it, let us know what you think. Bon appetit!

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